Food giant’s portal to innovation partnerships

Posted on 3 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

Global food producer General Mills has sourced 1,000 potential innovation partners in the first year since launching its General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) portal.

The company, whose brands include Betty Crocker, Green Giant and Old El Paso, launched the web-based platform a year ago to offer inventors and potential business partners with product, package and processing technologies a first step in connecting with the company.

The site allows visitors to view details of technical challenges identified by the company and create and submit non-confidential proposals. Registered visitors can also create and manage their profiles and receive ongoing information about future technical challenges that match their unique capabilities and expertise. In addition, the software platform allows General Mills product developers to manage and review submissions, collaborate with innovation partners and follow projects.

The company has received 1,000 registrations from innovators and 500 proposals through the platform thus far and 40 products over the last year have been formulated using open innovation.

Jeff Bellairs, senior director, General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network, said: “A year ago, we accelerated our connected innovation efforts by launching the G-WIN portal. We openly articulated what we were looking for and invited the inventor community to collaborate and participate. The response has been tremendous and has helped us tap into the external expertise and capabilities of innovators around the globe as we continually evolve our connected innovation program.”

Visit to view current partnership opportunities with General Mills.

General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and had sales of over US$16bn in 2010.